Tooth brushing and flossing go hand-in-hand as the mainstays of good oral care and proper technique is important for both activities. Using the correct techniques for twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing will help promote oral health for the long term.
Even if you've been brushing and flossing your teeth since childhood, you may have developed some bad habits over the years, such as brushing too hard, ignoring your back teeth and forgetting to floss.
Keep these general techniques in mind when you brush your teeth, whether before or after flossing:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line.
- When brushing your teeth, move the brush back and forth gently, with a circular movement over the front, back and top (chewing surface) of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum line; you can irritate your gums.
- Remember to brush (and floss) behind your lower (bottom) front teeth. Use the top bristles of the brush to reach this area. If this area is hard for you to reach with regular floss, try a floss holder or disposable flosser.
Other elements of complete oral care include brushing your tongue. You'll freshen your breath and eliminate even more cavity-causing bacteria. Also, if you’re at risk for plaque build-up or gum disease, consider adding an antiseptic mouth rinse to your complete oral care routine.
How to brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush ?
Learning how to brush your teeth properly is the first step to maintaining good oral hygiene, healthy teeth and gums. Plus, it helps minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum problems, the major causes of tooth loss.
Before You Begin
While there are several methods of brushing teeth with a manual toothbrush, always ask your dental professional for their recommendation and be sure to follow their instructions. To start, use fluoride toothpaste with a soft-bristle toothbrush, and don't forget to replace it every three months.
Two Minutes, Twice a Day
To brush your teeth correctly, spend at least two minutes using a recommended technique, which includes 30 seconds brushing each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left), both morning and night. Since most manual toothbrushes don't have built-in two-minute timers, you may want to have a clock handy so you can be sure you're brushing long enough.
Positioning the Toothbrush
How you hold the toothbrush depends on which part of the tooth you're brushing.
- Step 1: Start with outer and inner surfaces, and brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line. Make sure you reach your back teeth.
- Step 2: Move on to chewing surfaces. Hold the brush flat and brush back and forth along these surfaces.
- Step 3: Once you get to the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with the tip of brush.
- Step 4: Be sure to brush your teeth gently along the gum line.
- Step 5: Brush your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and help remove odour-causing bacteria to freshen your breath.
Now that you've learned proper teeth brushing technique, a little discipline in practicing it every day will help make it feel like second nature. It's one of the easiest things you can do to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
How to use a rechargeable toothbrush
What is a rechargeable electric toothbrush?
A rechargeable electric toothbrush (also known as a “power” toothbrush) can help you do more to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Many rechargeable toothbrushes use oscillating-rotating technology to provide better oral health results than regular manual toothbrushes. This brushing action is very different from that of regular manual toothbrushes, as it provides the movement, while you need only guide it.
For that reason, some people may find brushing with an electric toothbrush easier once they learn how to do it properly. Just remember that the key to brushing well with an electric toothbrush is to guide the brush head to all parts of your mouth.
Using a rechargeable electric toothbrush
Believe it or not, many school-aged children are now enthusiastic about brushing their teeth. We can thank the invention of the rechargeable electric toothbrush for this happy phenomenon.
Rechargeable electric toothbrushes are easy to use—that’s part of their appeal. And although a rechargeable electric toothbrush costs more than a manual toothbrush, it may be worth it if your child (or you) is more enthusiastic about using it.
Most rechargeable electric toothbrushes operate at anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 strokes on your teeth per minute, and because of this, it takes less time to do a thorough job. Some rechargeable electric toothbrushes have even more power.
To use a rechargeable electric toothbrush, just place toothpaste on the brush head and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, just as you would a manual toothbrush. Then turn on the rechargeable electric and move the brush from tooth to tooth. The smaller heads of most rechargeable electric toothbrushes usually brush about one tooth at a time, depending on the size of your teeth. Guide the electric brush along the front surfaces, back surfaces, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Even with a rechargeable electric toothbrush, you should spend about two minutes brushing to ensure that you’ve cleaned each tooth. When you’ve finished brushing, simply rinse the brush head with water and allow it to dry.
Built-in two-minute timers
Most rechargeable electric toothbrushes have built-in two-minute timers, and some even have professional timers that parse out 30 seconds for each quadrant to help you keep track.
Positioning the rechargeable toothbrush
When using a rechargeable electric toothbrush, it isn't necessary to press hard or scrub. Simply guide the brush while it provides the brushing action. In fact, some electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors that alert you when you’re brushing too hard.
- Step 1: Make sure your toothbrush is charged. Many electric toothbrushes have charge level indicator lights, so you can actually see when the toothbrush is charged.
- Step 2: Start with the outside surfaces of the teeth. Guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth, holding the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before moving on to the next one. Follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of the gums.
- Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on the inside surfaces of the teeth.
- Step 4: Repeat Step 2 on the chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as behind the back teeth.
- Step 5: Direct the brush head along the gum line and upon the gums. Again, do not press hard or scrub.
- Step 6: Try grazing the brush head along your tongue and the roof of your mouth, back to front, to help freshen your breath.
With proper brushing technique with a rechargeable electric toothbrush and little practice you’ll be brushing with confidence knowing you’re using the clinically proven technology of a rechargeable electric toothbrush to clean your teeth.